Here are the words of the President of the United States:
Essentially what we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. We believed that it was possible to shape those in a way that preserved the integrity of the system, made them available for the next generation, and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way.
If I’m saying to future recipients of Social Security or Medicare that you’re going to have to make some adjustments, it’s important that we’re also willing to make some adjustments when it comes to corporate jet owners, or oil and gas producers, or people who are making millions or billions of dollars.
Got that? The President made it very clear he wants cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Yes, the very Social Security that has nothing to do with the deficit. You don't have to rely on "rumors" also known as "reporting." He's said it himself. And remember, he said "current beneficiaries" will not be adversely affected. Future ones? Well, that's the part that will cause the
pain...sorry "adjustments." Again, not me saying it...that's a direct quote.
In addition, what we sought was revenues that were actually less than what the Gang of Six signed off on. So you had a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans who are in leadership in the Senate, calling for what effectively was about $2 trillion above the Republican baseline that they’ve been working off of. What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes — tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base.
So let me reiterate what we were offering. We were offering a deal that called for as much discretionary savings as the Gang of Six. We were calling for taxes that were less than what the Gang of Six had proposed. And we were calling for modifications to entitlement programs, would have saved just as much over the 10-year window. In other words, this was an extraordinarily fair deal. If it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue.
We have put forward a plan that is more generous to Republican concerns than a bipartisan plan that was supported by a number of Republican senators, including at least one that is in Republican leadership in the Senate.
Q Mr. President, can you explain why you were offering a deal that was more generous than the Gang of Six, which you seemed to be embracing on Tuesday when you were here?
THE PRESIDENT: Because what had become apparent was that Speaker Boehner had some difficulty in his caucus. There are a group of his caucus that actually think default would be okay and have said that they would not vote for increasing the debt ceiling under any circumstances.
Got that? The president is seeking less revenue than the tax increases advocated by Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Mark Warner(D-VA), and Dick Durbin(D-IL). That's an extremely conservative bunch, excepting Durbin, and Obama's proposal was to the right of that. And don't forget that bit of supply-side "dynamic scoring" stuff (emphasis mine) that is straight out of the GOP playbook. Again, don't take it from me. Don't take it from the "anti-Obama media rumor mill." Don't take it from foaming at the mouth, overreacting, racist, bigoted, irrational, pony and rainbow loving liberal bloggers. That's from the President himself.
How did the president expect Democrats to react to his proposal? Well, he said it:
But in the interest of being serious about deficit reduction, I was willing to take a lot of heat from my party — and I spoke to Democratic leaders yesterday, and although they didn’t sign off on a plan, they were willing to engage in serious negotiations, despite a lot of heat from a lot of interest groups around the country, in order to make sure that we actually dealt with this problem.
So I want to be clear. I’m not suggesting that we had an agreement that was signed, sealed and delivered. The parties were still apart as recently as yesterday. But when you look at the overall package, there’s no changing of the goalposts here. There has been a consistency on our part in saying we’re willing to make the tough cuts and we’re willing to take on the heat for those difficult cuts, but that there’s got to be some balance in the process.
He expected to take a lot of heat, not loving adoration.
If the presidents gets his big deal, he expects you, the Democrats, to be upset about it. Not cheering it. When and if he strikes a deal to cut Social Security, which has nothing to do with the deficit at all, which he himself says he is willing to do, he doesn't expect you to respond by saying "GO OBAMA! CUT MY SOCIAL SECURITY! HOORAY!" He expects you to be plenty pissed about the Grand Bargain. He expects you to respond with HEAT.
Don't take my word for it. Listen to the man himself. My message is "no need to worry, sir. I'm already there."